The former Beatle stepped outside the Hard Rock Cafe at midday with his friends and family, including wife Barbara Bach, to lead the huge throng of well-wishers who had gathered in a `Peace and Love` salute.
The drummer told the crowd that being in the city for his birthday was a "magical moment", and just as special as being there with the Fab Four in 1964.
At one point, Ringo even ran across the street to greet fans on the other side of the road who had come to get a glimpse of him.
Earlier in the day, the `Yellow Submarine` singer was presented with a cake adorned with a two-fingered peace sign and icing sunflowers and a batch of cookies decorated with the peace symbol inside the Hard Rock Cafe.
In the evening, Ringo played a concert at New York`s Radio City Music Hall to celebrate reaching the milestone age and he and those in attendance were treated to some surprises.
At the end of the show Sir Paul McCartney joined Ringo for a rendition of `Birthday` - from the group`s `White Album`, released in 1968 - in a rare joint appearance by the two surviving Beatles.
At the end of the track, Paul, 68, hugged his friend and said: "Happy birthday, Ringo."
Ringo was also joined by a host of special guests, including Yoko Ono - the wife of the late John Lennon - Jeff Lynne and E Street Band members Little Steven Van Zandt and Nils Lofgren, for a rendition of Beatles classic `With a Little Help From My Friends`.
The beaming musician joked: "I`ve got a lot of friends."
At the beginning of the year, Ringo revealed he wanted millions of fans to join him and display his signature V-shaped peace hand gesture at noon on his birthday.
He said: "We`ll be in New York on July 7 which is my birthday and we`re going to celebrate. No matter what state you`re in, at noon, wherever you are, I`d like you to gesture peace and love."